Boston-Area Woodland Garden

Remodeling and Home Design


JMMDS created a woodland garden for a Boston-area contemporary home on a pond. Designed as a permanent residence for a museum curator, an investment manager, and their children, the Terrace House provided JMMDS with an opportunity to create a landscape that blurs the line between traditional and modern; natural and built spaces.

Architect Daniel Johnson sited the contemporary concrete-board clad house and its two-story screened porch and decks on existing pond-front foundations. He designed terraces that retain and process rainwater and sediment that step down alongside the house towards the pond.

JMMDS created new circulation spaces around the house, softening the built edges and knitting old and new areas back together through thoughtful planting design. Three evenly spaced fastigiate ginkgo trees (Ginkgo biloba Fastigiata) create an openwork aerial hedge that mediates between the tall façade of the house, the front terraces and gardens, and the parking area. New ledge-like stones were placed to bring the feel of the existing ledges into a new front garden bed. Its meadowy plant palette includes colorful perennials: echinacea, grasses, lavender, catmint, poppies, sages, and sedums, among others. Knock-out roses were planted into the rainwater retention trough and Japanese hydrangea vine softens the low walls.

To the side of the house, a new stepping stone path winds past a stewartia tree through drifts of ajuga, geraniums, anemones, daylilies, and echinaceas. On the other side by the kitchen, bluestone squares are sometimes set on the diamond to bring a sense of movement and rhythm to the long narrow space where a white, purple, and green-hued shade garden includes heucheras, anemone, Solomon seal, hakonechloa and ferns. On the pond side, a collection of grasses and low-grow sumac knits the low-slung decks and old foundation to an existing sunken garden.


Breezy and Bug-Free Modern Porches” by John Hill - Houzz, April, 2014


Boston-area, MA

JMMDS Project Manager:

Anna Johansen


Watershed Studio Architecture, Daniel Johnson, White River, VT
Landscape Contractor:
Matthew R. Foti Landscape & Tree Service, Inc., Lexington, MA


Bill Sumner
Susan Teare